Updated: Jun 30, 2022
On this episode we get to speak with Kelly Wengronowitz. Kelly is the founder of Ping Adventures where she is currently hosting hikes in Ireland. Where she to makes space for women to chat about issues: gender inequality, discrimination, beauty industry, teenage sex, sex, sexual assault, aging, and mothering to name a few. Ping Adventures aims to build compassion and connection in all of us so we can better support and inspire each other. All while pinging the next peak. Kelly and I did plenty of this episode chatting about how she was introduced to nature, getting her degree in Environmental Science and Natural Resources that gave her the opportunity for a research gig in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California and then pursuing a career in Environmental Education at Yosemite National Park, then becoming a teacher and starting out in Oakland, CA to then primary school teacher in an outdoor school. Learn how Kelly ended up in Ireland and how Ping Adventures began + tips for your next hikes!
Kelly Jane Wengronowitz Biography
I have been loving the outdoors ever since I can remember and then some. I knew I was a bit different when I seemed to respond to an outdoor pursuit or project with “Hells Yeah” while others responded, “Why in the hell!!!” My childhood was speckled with spectators balking at my mother for allowing her daughter to climb to the tippy top of really anything. She simply replied, “She does this all the time” barely glancing up to see my final ascent!
My love of tree climbing grew into a love of wild places and I found myself in the lucky position of knowing exactly what I wanted to study in college. There wasn’t a degree at University of Illinois called treehugger, but Environmental Science and Natural Resources fit the bill. Upon graduation, I landed a research gig in the SIerra Nevada Mountains of California, and couldn’t believe I got paid for living in a tent in the middle of the forest! There my heart was gushed right open with awe and love for these mountains. I lived in a tent all summer completing research and ended the season with The John Muir trail, a 14 day backpacking trip completing 225 miles of high alpine trail. I was chuffed with myself and sold on an outdoor adventure lifestyle. I pursued a career in Environmental Education at Yosemite National Park guiding and teaching students from various backgrounds, age groups, and ethnicity emphasizing interconnection, sense of place, and stewardship of our world.
I did a lot of hiking, a lot of climbing, and a lot of backpacking. By a lot I mean one summer I spent over 75 out of 90 days in the backcountry leading adventures! I managed to take my zest for trekking around the globe from rain forests of Central America, rugged peaks of Canada, Darwin’s stomping grounds of Chile, sandy beaches of Thailand and not to go unmentioned base camp of “The Goddess Mother of the World” aka Mount Everest. I, later, became a primary school teacher in an outdoor school, a loving wife, and proud mother of three. Oh yeah and I moved to Ireland, my partner’s homeland, the things we do for LOVE. And now… I love, love, love my family; but, as my ole pal, Muir, put it,”The Mountains are Calling and I Must Go”. So.. I fumbled around in my brain for a bit and kept coming back to this brewing question, “I love being a mommy, but I also love being an adventurous woman. So why can’t I be both? Why can’t we all be both?” And my friends, here is my answer: I think we can and so I did. I set up Ping Adventures to quench my thirst for adventure; but also, to make a space for women to chat about issues: gender inequality, discrimination, beauty industry, teenage sex, sex, sexual assault, aging, and mothering to name a few. Ping Adventures aims to build compassion and connection in all of us so we can better support and inspire each other.
I want women to come together to laugh, thrive, grow, comfort, explore and connect to remind ourselves that we are all in it together! I want to create more and more meaningful, special moments with others to fill up our hearts and souls where injustices and inequalities have depleted us! I, also, don’t mind having a bit of craic aka bullshitting, wisecracking, clean and dirty fun, with a side of shits and giggles;)
Love and more love, Kelly
PS Like Britt you can call me Kel because I am pretty sure I am gonna like anyone who listens to us:)